SU Supplemental Instruction Leader Named CRLA’s “Outstanding Mentor”

By Abby Bivens

Staff Writer

@abigaillorene

new leader picture

Brooks, of New Jersey, is a nursing major and she currently serves on Salisbury’s SNA board.  This year, she hopes to pass the NCLEX and find a job in a hospital near her hometown.
Picture by Abby Bivens

Senior Cassie Brooks was recently awarded the College Reading and Learning Association’s (CRLA) International Mentor Training Program Certification (IMTPC) Outstanding Mentor award for 2017.

Brooks served as an Supplemental Instruction (SI) leader in the Chemistry department for three semesters, beginning the spring of her sophomore year.  During these semesters, Brooks helped over 200 students in Chemistry 121 and 122.

She feels that many students experience a “rude awakening” during their first lab science and that having an SI leader in the class gives the student someone to turn to.  An SI can provide those students with extra practice and study techniques.

Brooks understands the benefit of having SI leaders first hand, having attended study sessions that helped her to succeed prior to becoming a leader herself.

She was nominated for the CRLA IMTPC award by the Assistant Director of the Center for Student Achievement, Heather Porter.

Brooks’ tenure and dedication to the program motivated Porter to nominate her for the award.

“Cassie was an SI leader for a significant amount of time, and we really wanted to recognize that, as well as the effort she put in along the way”, she explained.

This November, Brooks will be officially recognized at the CRLA annual conference in Pittsburgh.  Due to her rigorous course schedule Brooks will not be able to attend the event, so Heather Porter will be accepting the award on her behalf.

“Being an SI leader is not an easy job”, Brooks said.  “It feels great to be recognized for my work and to know that I went above and beyond”.

One of the toughest aspects of life as an SI is the time commitment, which kept Brooks busy.

She would typically receive multiple emails from students every day and made her own practice materials for the study sessions, such as mock exams and Quizlet flashcards.  But in Brooks’ eyes, being an SI leader was well worth it the effort put in.

Brooks encourages other students looking for leadership positions to take every opportunity possible.  In order to be a strong leader Brooks believes one must be kind, compassionate, easy to talk to and devoted to the needs of others.

“It didn’t matter if I was having a rough day, wasn’t feeling well or had an exam in another class the next day,” Brooks said.  “I had to forget about that and make sure the students were prepared first.”

Porter feels that Brooks encompassed the values and commitment of all of the SI leaders here at SU, of which there are over seventy.

“The magnitude of her effort and her devotion to other students’ academic success was one of the biggest reasons that we nominated her for this award,” Porter said.

Currently, more than 100 course sections have SI leaders in them.  Both Brooks and Porter wanted to encourage students to take advantage of SI study sessions and the Center for Student Achievement, which are there for their benefit.

For SU, Brooks is just another example of a Sea Gull flying high, being a student leader and making her presence known by helping those around her.

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